Self-care at home
Practising self-care is something we all need to do every day. For ourselves, our families, and for the NHS. It builds confidence for those living with long-term health conditions, encourages people to stay well and healthy, and provides support for those dealing with short-term illnesses and ailments.
- Eat a balanced diet
Enjoying a balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fat, salt and sugar will make you feel better and have a positive impact on your health. The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right number of calories for how active you are. Eat or drink too much and you will put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. Eat or drink too little and you will lose weight.
- Be active
Being active is great for your physical and mental health. Walk more, use the stairs instead of the lift, do something you enjoy that increases your heart rate.
Adults should be active for at least 150 minutes each week, children aged five-16 years old should be active for at least 60 minutes per day and kids under five need three hours of activity a day.
- Enjoy a healthier lifestyle
Quit smoking and drink less alcohol.
Portsmouth Wellbeing Service supports Portsmouth residents to quit smoking, achieve a healthy weight through eating well and moving more, and to drink less alcohol.
- Go outside daily
You should try to get outside into natural daylight as much as possible as vitamin D helps to keep your muscles, bones and teeth healthy, as well as providing stimulation for the brain and making you feel happier. If you cannot get outside, consider taking vitamin D supplements, especially during the winter months.
- Get your vaccinations
Whether it is your annual flu jab or COVID-19 vaccination or booster, it’s important to boost your immunity, especially in winter. Getting these jabs helps to protect you, but also those around you – particularly those who are most vulnerable.
- Look out for each other
Self-care is also about checking in on each other and looking out for those around you. Whether it is an elderly relative or neighbour, friend or family member you have not seen for a while, or someone you see every day. Check in on them regularly to make sure they are okay.
- Have a well-stocked medicine cabinet
Paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin for adults, if not conflicting with prescribed medication, or advised to not take by doctor or pharmacist i.e. ibuprofen for certain asthmatics, aspirin or anti-inflammatories with blood thinners.
Have the equivalent medications for children – usually liquid preparations of paracetamol and ibuprofen (not aspirin if under 16 years old)
Cold and cough medicines, and lozenges for sore throats
Mild laxatives to relieve constipation
Rehydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting
Thermometer to check for fever. In-ear most reliable. Oral, axillary (armpit) or rectal checks are all fine but specify where temperature has been taken from when speaking with healthcare professionals.
Range of plasters, bandages and dressings
Antiseptic wipes to clean cuts before they are dressed
Travel sickness tablets